When Liberating Your Sony Headphones From Their Plastic Shell, Be Careful Not To Stab Yourself With An X-Acto Knife

My colleague came to work waving around a new pair of Sony headphone’s he’d bought on the way over, still new in the blister plastic packaging. He was excited because he got such a good deal on them, and tried cutting through the package with a pair of heavy duty scissors. The plastic was unusually strong and was resisting even our most well made scissors (we work in a printing facility, and have lots of types of scissors, all high quality). He switched to the x-acto knife after the scissors were unable to pierce the thick bonded plastic.

We also use these knives regularly and have never had an accident. Well the plastic was so strong he needed to apply a large amount of force to the blade, which caused his hand to slip toward his body and into his abdomen. The cut was deep and he bled through his shirt; we found gauze in the first aid kit and dressed the wound using sterile wipes and pads until he was cleaned up enough to go to the emergency room. I had to use the x-acto knife again to open the package all the way, and it took me nearly ten minutes of precise, careful cuts to get the headphones out, and I use these knives almost every day as part of my various craft hobbies. I literally had to slice all the way around the perimeter of the package, and that was not easy. I doubt somone without a lot of cutting experience could ever have opened this package safely.

This is not a directed complaint toward Sony specifically, but to all manufacturers to make your packaging reasonably easy to open for customers that spent money on your products. More directly, you should be able to open any package with a pair of scissors in a minute or less. If not, your packaging becomes hazardous by causing people to resort to sharper utensils like knives and rasors. My colleage is recovering well and does not plan to pursue a lawsuit.

We are not surprised. Liberating consumer electronics from their protective armor can be a Sisyphean struggle. Fortified enclosures help retailers by deterring theft and making products easier to ship, but rob consumers of their ability to delightedly tear open a present. Retailers should develop a better way to cocoon their products, one that discourages consumers from accidently stabbing themselves.